State Congressional Republicans prepare for legal battles over Dayton's funding vetoes

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In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton defended the constitutionality of his line-item veto of money to operate the state legislature--But state Republican leaders disagree, preparing a legal challenge to the measure for the days to come.

The state constitution gives governors the authority to line-item veto all appropriations measures, but it also states, "No person or persons belonging to or constituting one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others." 

Congressional Republican leaders, however, claim that by stripping funding for Minnesota's Senate and House of Representatives he has effectively stripped their legislative power, and hope to protect their budget by appealing Dayton's measures in court. 

It's a legal question the state's top lawyer, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, refused to weigh in on Wednesday, saying the situation is still unfolding.

"This is a very fast and fluid situation, it is something that has been developing here in the last several hours," Swanson said. "At this point we're going to have to wait and see what circumstances unfold and what develops."